“Be close to united, divided, separated, reconstituted families”: Mauritian Cardinal

Maurice Cardinal Piat of the Dioces of Port Louis, Mauritius

As Christians around the world conclude the Advent Season that ushers in the joyful celebration of God becoming man in the birth of Jesus Christ, the Cardinal in the island nation of Mauritius has, in his Christmas message, called on Christians to cultivate solidarity with all members of society regardless of religion, ethnicity, social status or any other distinguishing factors.

“On this Christmas Day, let us be close to all families by thought and prayer - close to Christian families as well as Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist and Bahai families; close to united families but also to divided, separated and reconstituted families; close to single-parent families where only one parent, often the mother, takes care of the children alone; close to families who suffer because a child or a parent is drug addicted, in prison or seriously ill,” Bishop of Port Louis, Maurice Cardinal Piat has said in his Christmas message seen by ACI Africa.

“By being born into a family at Christmas, God wanted to be close to all families, to bring them all his tenderness, his faithful support and to value their role in the development of a person and a society” the Cardinal added.

Affirming the importance of being close to the fundamental unit of the society, the Spiritan Cardinal said, “God wants to express his support to all these families, through our availability, our listening, our solidarity. It is through us that he wants to transmit to them this very special joy that he came to share with us at Christmas.”

Describing Christmas as the story of a couple who “let themselves be disturbed by God” when they wanted to start a family, the Prelate noted that the birth of Jesus Christ is a call for all families to trust in God when they encounter the unexpected.


He explained, “Trust is never very simple, because it is a matter of letting go and letting ourselves be led, not knowing where all this adventure is going to lead us.”

“Today, our families also encounter the unexpected, and sometimes have to change their plans and cancel well-prepared projects in order to cope with the unexpected,” he said and continued, “The Christmas story teaches us that God often hides in the unexpected or unforeseen, and it is there more than ever that he knocks at our door and invites us to trust him.”

According to the 78-year-old Prelate, “What the Christmas story teaches us is that the more we trust the God of surprises, the God who knocks at our door when we are not waiting for him, the more we discover the beauty of his call and the joy that this walk of trust with him brings us.”

“The more we accept to be disturbed, for example by an unexpected character trait of my spouse, or by a delay or a failure of my child at school, or by an illness, the closer God becomes to us, the more he brings us the support of his wisdom and quiet strength,” he added.

Acknowledging that “no one is immune to this kind of unforeseen event that bothers us and pushes us around,” the member of Vatican-based Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has urged all families to learn from the Holy Family who opened to the unexpected will of God.

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“Let us ask Mary and Joseph to teach us to welcome the unexpected in our lives, to let go and let ourselves be led by the one who wants only one thing for us, to lead us to share his joy, the joy of loving with patience and serenity those around us, whether or not they meet our expectations, whether or not they correspond to our dreams,” the Cardinal urged.

According to him, “This peace and serenity, lived daily even in the midst of trials, strengthens the family, helps it to grow humanly and gives a beautiful witness.”

“May the true joy of Christmas accompany you throughout the New Year, in your good times or in the moments when you feel disturbed, your plans upset. Do not forget, the unexpected is often the sign that God knocks at your door and comes to seek you to give you His peace,” the Cardinal concluded.